Just came across this and thought you guys might enjoy it. The book was English as She is Spoke, and it was written by a guy named Pedro Carolino in the 19th century. The author didn’t speak English, or have a Portuguese-English dictionary, but he did have a Portuguese-French dictionary and a French-English dictionary, so he just put 2 and 2 together. Needless to say, the results were astounding, and Pedro Carolino is basically the Ed Wood of the dictionary world. Of this book, Mark Twain said, “Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.” Here are a few “idiotisms”, as they were called in the book.
- In the country of blinds, the one eyed man are kings.
- Few, few the bird make her nest.
- Nothing some money, nothing of Swiss.
- A horse bared don’t look him the tooth.
- To craunch the marmoset.
- The stone as roll not heap up not foam.
- Keep the chestnut of the fire with the cat foot.
- Burn the politeness.
- Of the hand to mouth, one lose often the soup.
It also provided some good translations of various sentences. First is the Portuguese, followed by the correct translation (in italics), followed by the English as She Is Spoke translation.)
Zombo deles; o meu navio é armado em guerra, tenho equipagem vigilante e animosa; e as munições não me faltam.
I laugh at them; my ship is armed for war; I have an alert and courageous crew, and I have plenty of ammunition.
ES: I jest of them; my vessel is armed in man of war, i have a vigilant and courageous equipage, and the ammunitions don’t want me its.
Este lago parece-me bem piscoso. Vamos pescar para nos divertirmos.
This lake looks full of fish to me. Let’s have some fun fishing.
ES: That pond it seems me many multiplied of fishes. Let us amuse rather to the fishing.
Vamos mais depressa. Nunca vi pior besta. Não quer andar, nem para diante, nem para trás.
Let’s go faster. I never saw a worse animal. It doesn’t want to go either forward or backward.
ES: Go us more fast never i was seen a so much bad beast; she will not nor to bring forward neither put back.
Barriga cheia, cara alegre.
A full stomach makes for a content face.
ES: After the paunch comes the dance.
RELATED: More info on English as She Is Spoke.